First Halloween- we were so proud of our cute little lady bug who went trick-or-treating for the first time to four houses, who braved the scary costumes of others and the frightening decorations, and who still has three pieces of candy left. We probably would have gone to more houses, but we went to the Halloween Journey at the Waldorf elementary school. The Halloween Journey is a magical event where the kids and their families go to about 8 different stations and watch a powerful scene unfold. The ones that I can remember are St. Francis of Assisi with his goats telling the children to be kind to animals, the singing mushrooms telling the children to watch out for plants, the gnome (forgot what his message was), the fairies reminding the children of the beauty of nature, the mermaid telling the children how she can hear their sweet voices singing, and the king and queen telling the children to be good and true to themselves.
After the Halloween Journey and trick-or-treating we went to Jeanette and Sasha’s (our cousins) new town home for a family party. By the time we got home, we were all exhausted and full of junk food. A perfect Halloween, right?
Last weekend we took a couple of days off and went to Portland, OR to see what it was like. We loved it, of course, and would move there in a heartbeat if it weren’t for the 6-8 months of rain and leaving our friends and family. Our friend David got us an amazing deal on a brand new, beautiful hotel called The Nines. What an experience! The hotel’s restaurant had its own farm so most of the food was straight from the farm to the kitchen. The decor was modern with lots of natural light and rich colors. And their happy hour included $2.50 martinis and tater tots (a new favorite of Ava’s).
We ate so much good food and loved exploring the downtown area. Ava still thinks riding a bus or train is like an amusement park ride, so she had a blast on the public transportation. Several times on the trip Ava declared her love for us. She’s so happy when we’re all together especially if we’re eating dessert, which we did a lot of. She is truly an amazing traveler. I can’t think of one time she was unhappy while we were in Portland. It helps that she loves watching people and seeing new things. Some friends of ours who live in Eugene, OR drove down to spend some of the time with us. Ava and their 4 year old daughter were inseparable. It was great to catch up with James and Jen and see their two kids again. We also met a co-worker of Nathan’s who just moved to Portland for dinner. The restaurant he chose for dinner and the one he suggested for breakfast the next day were both incredible.
Next weekend we are going to see Clara and her parents in Omaha. They have a new house that we haven’t seen yet, plus it’s been about 5 months since we’ve been with them. We miss our good friends.
Life is a whirlwind of work, fun, and adoption paperwork (yes, still) right now. I can only find a few spare minutes to write and post pictures- I wish I could share more of the amazing changes we’re seeing in Ava. How many months until summer break?